Simply Healthy Family: Lentil Puttanesca with Sun Dried Tomato Polenta


Lentil Puttanesca with Sun Dried Tomato Polenta

This Lentil Puttanesca is an age old favorite and one that I have been making for years. It may seem complicated and overwhelming but is anything but that. When you want a meal to impress without spending hours in the kitchen, this is your dish. 

“I received free samples of Progresso Cooking Stock mentioned in this post at no cost. By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by Progresso Cooking Stock and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.”

Puttanesca sauce has many colorful Italian folk tales behind it. This salty tomato sauce is most often employed for pasta, although I've been using it as a base for these lentils for years. Originating in Naples, it is often made using ripe tomatoes, olives, capers, anchovies, onions, garlic, and herbs, usually oregano and parsley but sometimes also basil.  It is considered an easy sauce to make it's name vaguely referring to "whore" meaning leaving nothing to waste or using everything in the kitchen. Whatever it's meaning or origins, it is most definitely my favorite sauce and is very fragrant and spicy.

Sure you could use water in place of vegetable stock but side by side comparison in a taste test undoubtedly proves that when you use a good quality stock your final dish just tastes better. I've always loved using chicken and vegetable broths to boost my meals or even just giving plain old rice or lentils that extra something. 

Progresso's new line of Premium Chicken and Vegetable Stocks are made with the freshest quality ingredients to give you that home made taste without the fuss. They are now available in most well stocked supermarkets.


Water, Celery, Onions, Carrots, Cabbage, Salt, Parsley, Leek, Sugar, Garlic, Thyme, Bay Leaves.

A Stock is a thin liquid made by simmering raw ingredients until all the taste has been retrieved from them, finalised by sieving to get a result that is a liquid alone. 

 This is a recipe that I have been developing for years. I've figured out the balance between spicy, salty, pungent and earthy to bring you this bowl of timeless comfort food. Click here to see this recipe on one of my earliest blog posts. *disclaimer, photos are not so pretty

TOTAL TIME       40 MINUTES            SERVES        6  

For Polenta

2 cups unsweetened Almond Milk

1 cup Progresso Premium Vegetable Broth
1/2 t Kosher salt
1 cup Polenta (corn grits)
1-2 T butter
1/4 cup Parmesan
1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes, chopped


In large pot over high heat, bring almond milk, broth and salt to boil. Gradually stir in cornmeal. Whisk until clumps are gone, about 2 minutes. Add sun dried tomatoes. Remove from heat and stir in butter and Parmesan. Pour into a buttered ramekins. Cook in preheated 375F oven for 15-18 minutes until golden brown and just set.

Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes. Using a butter knife, carefully scrape around the edges of the ramekin to loosen the polenta. Carefully, turn over onto the bowl of lentils. {If presenting, quickly and carefully turn the polenta over into your hand and then onto the lentils so that the right side is upright}.

For Lentil Puttanesca:

1 cup mixed lentils

1 cup Progresso vegetable broth

1/4 cup olive oil

1 cup finely chopped yellow onion

6 cloves minced garlic

2 (28-ounce) cans Roma plum tomatoes, chopped, with juice

1 cup pitted and sliced green olives (other olives will work as well)
2 tablespoons tomato paste

2 tablespoons drained capers

2 tablespoons minced anchovy fillets (about 8 fillets)
1/2 tablespoon dried oregano
1-2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper flakes


Rinse lentils thoroughly under cool water. Preferably, soak lentils for 6-8 hours before cooking to reduce phytic acids.

In a large pot heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the onion and saute until soft and lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook an additional 2 minutes. Add the anchovy filet's and stir to combine with the onion and garlic until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the tomato paste and quickly stir to incorporate in with the onion mixture. Add the broth, tomatoes and the remaining ingredients. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook until the sauce is thickened and slightly reduced, stirring once or twice about 30 minutes. Adjust seasoning, to taste, cover and set aside.

Ladle lentil puttanesca into shallow bowls and top with the sun dried tomato polenta. Serve hot. 



  1. YUM! I love lentils and puttanesca sauce - so clever to combine them

    1. Thank you Deanna!! Cross your fingers for me ;)

  2. YUM! I love lentils and puttanesca sauce - so clever to combine them

  3. A hearty and lovely dish!

  4. With the year of the pulses...this is perfect. Love replacing meat with lentils...even the "meat eaters" should love this. Sounds awesome!!

    1. Thank you Gloria, my little carnivores loved this one!

  5. Oh I love polenta, this dish looks great. Will definitely have to try.

  6. So much yumminess in one dish! Can't wait to try this recipe. Slowly getting more legumes into my family's diet. With a dish like this, it should be easy!

    1. Legumes are my favorite! Hope you enjoy! Check out my lentil burgers, even my pickiest eater loves them!

  7. That looks delicious and I just happen to have a bag of lentils in my pantry!

  8. looks delicious.. I love Polenta.. and don't use it enough.. will defo be trying this out

  9. Yummy! Thanks Gwen.

  10. This looks so delicious! I've been LOVING lentils lately!

  11. Love this! Sun dried tomatoes are fabulous too for that smoky flavor!

  12. Really great idea to make puttanesca-style lentils! I've heard the "whore" reference, too, but with a slightly different twist--that the earthy/lusty smell of the sauce was a strong lure similar to that of a prostitute.

  13. I'm not sold on lentils, even though I KNOWWW they're good for me. But I LOVE puttanesca sauce, so perhaps I should give them a try!

    1. HaaHaa, I bet you'll like these lentils if you love puttanesca!!

  14. Love lentils. Love puttanesca. Love polenta. Obviously you made this just for me. :-)

  15. I love lentils and this really sounds like a perfect comfort dish!

  16. love love LOVE puttanesca! It's one of my all-time favorite meals. I love that used used lentils here instead of pasta. I've been using a grain-free pasta but it's SO expensive so I can't wait to try this!


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